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BAI BAI NAPANGARTI 1939, KANTAWARRA, 2004, synthetic polymer paint on linen
BAI BAI NAPANGARTI (born 1939), KANTAWARRA, 2004, synthetic polymer paint on linenSIGNED: inscribed verso: artist's name, size and Warlayirti Artists cat. 849/04DIMENSIONS: 119.5 x 80.5 cmPROVENANCE: Warlayirti Artists, Balgo Hills Short Street Gallery, Broome, acquired 2004 (cat. #3123) (stamped verso) The K.D.H. Ainsworth Collection, QueenslandNOTES: This work is accompanied by a copy of a certificate of authenticity from Short Street Gallery which states: 'Bai Bai has painted some country south of Balgo in the Great Sandy Desert. This country is named Kantawarra. The central features of the painting represents a killiki (creek) found in the area. The many parallel lines in the upper section of the painting depict the tali (sandhills) that dominate this country. While the lines in the lower section of the painting represent the water that flows through this country during the wet season.' Deutscher and Hackett
AIDA TOMESCU, born 1955, ALBA 3, 2002, oil on canvas
AIDA TOMESCU, born 1955, ALBA 3, 2002, oil on canvasSIGNED: signed, dated and inscribed with title verso: Aida Tomescu / “Alba 3” / 2002DIMENSIONS: 137.0 x 83.5 cmPROVENANCE: Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney (label attached verso) The Collection of Colin and Elizabeth Laverty, Sydney, acquired from the above in May 2002EXHIBITED: Aida Tomescu: New Paintings, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney, 1 – 26 May 2002 Deutscher and Hackett
JUSTIN O'BRIEN, (1917 – 1996), THE NET MENDERS, 1965, oil on canvas
JUSTIN O'BRIEN, (1917 – 1996), THE NET MENDERS, 1965, oil on canvasSIGNED: signed upper right: O’BRIENbears inscription verso: NATIONAL GALLERY MELBOURNEDIMENSIONS: 70.0 x 49.5 cmPROVENANCE: Bradshaw Collection, SydneySotheby’s, Melbourne, 4 May 2004, lot 69Gould collection, MelbourneEXHIBITED: Justin O’Brien, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, 1965Justin O’Brien Retrospective, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1987The Director’s Choice 2015, Celebrating 35 Years, Gould Galleries, Melbourne, 1 May – 13 June 2015, cat. 14 (illus. in exhibition catalogue)LITERATURE: France, C., Justin O’Brien: Image and Icon, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1997, pp. 26, 110 (illus.), 142ESSAY: Fixed in striking classical poses, the lithe, idealised fishermen who inhabit Justin O’Brien’s painting were inspired by the artist’s quotidian experience in Greece. Yet they remain linked to the apostolic fishermen, the harbingers of spiritual completeness who populate many of O’Brien’s works. Painting spiritual subject matter provided the Australian artist with the possibility of uninhibited artistic expression, unconfined by the physical limitations of visual perception, a freedom that he would later extend to his more prosaic scenes. The figure of a fisherman first appears in O’Brien’s watercolours of the 1940s, such as Mending the Nets, c.1947, then later within the larger framework of polyptychs of the 1950s including Miraculous Draught of Fishes, then again in works from the 1960s after the artist’s return to his house on the island of Skyros in the Aegean. While The Net Menders, 1965 is a prosaic scene, it is one whose origins are steeped in ancient Christian iconography. These men are set firmly within the stylised and anonymous topography that came to represent O’Brien’s work – rocky outcrops, dusty ground and golden hued skies. The Net Menders is a good example of O’Brien’s distinctive pictorial style, which included a refusal of linear perspective, non-representational primary colour, and a geometric flattening of the pictorial plane. It has been suggested that these devices were strongly influenced by the artist’s discovery of Renaissance art in Europe, particularly the modern day appearance of frescoes from the Quattrocento.1The Greek island of Skyros was a recurring source of aesthetic attraction for the artist – he lived on the island throughout the summers of 1964, 1967 and 1971, exhibiting the dozens of paintings the location inspired at Sydney’s Macquarie Galleries in the year following each trip. The island was also source of a stylistic shift in the artist’s work, leading to a stronger definition of line and more subtle naturalistic colour, as well as a greater proportion of landscapes and still lives.2 With a mysterious serenity and sparseness that would characterise many of O’Brien’s paintings, The Net Menders has an eerie power reminiscent of Surrealism. For O’Brien, who had suffered through multiple crises of faith, there was certain symmetry in his search for the spiritual in prosaic scenes and the intensity of his narrative paintings. He explained this to the art critic Sasha Grishin in 1982: ‘the religious experience should not be confused with the spiritual experience, for the latter can be expressed through many subjects, like a vase of flowers’. 3The languorous figures of Net Menders, 1965, are simply presented as performing an age-old artisanal activity that would have supported their livelihood on the island, as they were in the artist’s watercolour sketch of the 1940s. Mending their nets in early evening light, the naked fishermen are avatars of a timeless era, untied to geographical or temporal specificity. 1. France, C., Justin O’Brien. Image and Icon, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1997, pp. 15 – 172. Wilson, N., ‘Justin O’Brien & The Art of Transfiguration’, Justin O’Brien, The Sacred Music of Colour, exhibition catalogue, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2010, pp. 110 – 1113. O’Brien to Sasha Grishin, 18 January 1982, quoted in Grishin, S., ‘Justin O’Brien, in retrospect’, Justin O’Brien: A Survey Exhibition 1938 – 95, Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane, 2006, p. 15 LUCIE REEVES-SMITH Deutscher and Hackett
PHILIP WOLFHAGEN, born 1963, LANDSCAPE SEMAPHORE NO. 7, 2004, oil and beeswax on linendiptychSIGNED: each signed with monogram, dated and inscribed with title lower right: W / MAY / 2004 / Landscape / Semaphore No 7 / diptych / …each inscribed with title verso on stretcher bar: Landscape Semaphore No. 7 diptych …DIMENSIONS: 96.5 x 101.5 cm (each)PROVENANCE: Gene and Brian Sherman collection, Sydney LITERATURE: Winton, T., Illumination: The Art of Philip Wolfhagen, Newcastle Region Art Gallery publication, Newcastle, 2013, p. 67 (illus.) Deutscher and Hackett
ARTEFACTS and CARVINGS A Shield of elongated ovoid
ARTEFACTS and CARVINGS A Shield of elongated ovoid form the bulbous front decorated with incised traditional designs with traces of red and white natural pigments, the reverse with deep cut lug handle decorated with three finely incised vertical bands in-filled with red pigment 51.0 cm length Deutscher and Hackett
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